Russia-Ukraine updates: Russian troop losses surpass 45,000, Kyiv says

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Ukraine on Saturday said 46,550 Russian soldiers have died in the first six months of the conflict.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine wrote on Facebook that an additional 250 Russian troops had been killed on Friday alone.

DW is unable to verify the figures, but they appear to chime with estimates from Britain’s Defense Minister Ben Wallace who told the BBC this week that Russian losses amounted to 80,000 when combining deaths, injuries and desertions.

This compares to 15,000 thousand they lost in a decade in Afghanistan, Wallace said.

The New York Times estimated this week that as many as 25,000 Russian troops have been killed, versus about 9,000 Ukrainian soldiers.

In its latest update, Ukraine’s military added that Russia had also lost 1,939 tanks, 1045 artillery systems, 836 drones, and 3,165 vehicles since February 24.

The United Nations this week said it had been able to confirm the deaths of 5,587 civilians in Ukraine, adding that the real toll was likely much higher.

Here’s a roundup of some of the other key developments regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on August 27.

Zelenskyy: Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant on ‘brink of disaster’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned of a potential disaster at the besieged Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, after a power outage forced an emergency shutdown of two of the plant’s reactors. 

“I want to stress that the situation remains very risky and dangerous,” he said in his nightly video address. “Any repetition … will once again bring the power plant to the brink of disaster.”

On Thursday, a local blackout knocked out the power supply to the plant, and a serious accident was only avoided due to the emergency power supply kicking in.

Both reactor blocks were then shut down in an emergency procedure.

The power supply was restored to both of the reactors on Friday, Ukrainian officials said.

Both sides have blamed each other’s shelling for the outage.

Zelenskyy repeated his call for a team of international experts to inspect the plant and for the Russian troops occupying the facility to leave.

Russian troops have occupied the plant since shortly after the invasion began. Renewed fighting broke out earlier this month, sparking fears of a nuclear catastrophe.

Medvedev: Russia won’t withdraw even if Kyiv drops NATO ambition

Moscow will not stop its military campaign in Ukraine even if Kyiv formally renounces its aspiration to join NATO, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.

“Renouncing its participation in the North Atlantic alliance is now vital, but it is already insufficient in order to establish peace,” former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told France’s LCI television.

Medvedev, who is now deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, said Moscow was prepared to hold talks with Ukraine’s Zelenskyy subject to certain conditions, according to quotes reported by Russian news agencies.

“This (talks) will depend on how events unfold. We were ready before to meet [Zelenskyy],” he added.

Russia and Ukraine held several rounds of talks after the invasion began, but they made no progress and there are few prospects for a resumption.

Russia, Medvedev said, would continue the campaign until its goals had been achieved.

Putin says he wants to “denazify” Ukraine, which Kyiv and the West say is a baseless pretext for a war of conquest.

UK: Russia intensifies attacks in parts of eastern Ukraine

Russia has likely stepped up attacks along the Donetsk sector of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region over the last five days, Britain’s Defense Minister has said.

Intense fighting near the towns of Siversk and Bakhmut, north of the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk, has been reported the ministry said in its daily intelligence bulletin on Twitter.

“There is a realistic possibility that Russia has increased its efforts in the Donbas in an attempt to draw in or fix additional Ukrainian units, amid speculation that Ukraine is planning a major counter-offensive,” the update added.

More on the war in Ukraine

Russia’s disinformation campaign on the conflict in Arabic is winning over the Middle East.A report published this week reveals how Russia is using cluster bombs ‘extensively’ in Ukraine. Also, Ukraine’s central bank is printing money to pay soldiers’ salaries, spiking the threat of runaway or hyperinflation.

mm/kb (AFP, dpa, Reuters,)

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